The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,319 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.
to and depend upon their husbands.  To a woman, verily, the husband is the deity and he is the highest end after which she should strive.  As the husband is to the wife, even so are the Brahmanas unto Kshatriyas.  If there be a Kshatriya of full hundred years of age and a good Brahmana child of only ten years, the latter should be regarded as a father and the former as a son, for among the two, verily, the Brahmana is superior.  A woman in the absence of her husband, takes his younger brother for her lord; even so the Earth, not having obtained the:  Brahmana, made the Kshatriya her lord.  The Brahmanas should be protected like sons and worshipped like sires or preceptors.  Indeed, O best of the Kurus, they should be waited upon with reverence even as people wait with reverence upon their sacrificial or Homa fires.  The Brahmanas are endued with simplicity and righteousness.  They are devoted to truth.  They are always engaged in the good of every creature.  Yet when angry they are like snakes of virulent poison.  They should, for these reasons, be always waited upon and served with reverence and humility.  One should, O Yudhishthira, always fear these two, viz.  Energy and Penances.  Both these should be avoided or kept at a distance.  The effects of both are speedy.  There is the superiority, however, of Penances, viz., that Brahmanas endued with Penances, O monarch, can, if angry, slay the object of their wrath (regardless of the measure of Energy with which that object may be endued).  Energy and Penances, each of the largest measure, become neutralised if applied against a Brahmana that has conquered wrath.  If the two,—­that is, Energy and Penances,—­be set against each other, then destruction would overtake both but not destruction without, a remnant, for while Energy, applied against Penances, is sure to be destroyed without leaving a remnant.  Penances applied against Energy cannot be destroyed completely.[13] As the herdsman, stick in hand, protects the herd, even so should the Kshatriya always protect the Vedas and the Brahmanas.  Indeed, the Kshatriya should protect all righteous Brahmanas even as a sire protects his sons.  He should always have his eye upon the house of the Brahmanas for seeing that their means of subsistence may not be wanting.’”


“Yudhisthira said, ’O grandsire, O thou of great splendour, what do those men become who, through stupefaction of intellect, do not make gifts unto Brahmanas after having promised to make those gifts?  O thou that art the foremost of all righteous persons, do tell me what the duties are in this respect.  Indeed, what becomes the end of those wicked wights that do not give after having promised to give.’”

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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